Bringing up a child is a difficult and laborious task from many aspects. It is even more difficult to raise a child alone. When the increase in the rate of divorces considered, it is not surprising that the number of mothers who raise their children alone increases as well.
According to Winklenk A. (1993), from I960 to 1990, the proportion of children under age 18 living with a single female parent increased from 8 percent to 22 percent, which amounts to 13-9 million children in 1990.
Considering the numbers, we can say that the number of single mothers is increasing day by day. We can also say that the number of problems they face increases relatively. There are some problems which only the single moms can encounter in the process of child raising.
The heavy responsibilities of being a single mother can induce pressure and stress on single mothers, which result in feeling tired and unhappy most of the time.
Also, the economic aspect of the problems of being a single mother adds up to the emotional ones. The household expenses combined with the high costs of school can overwhelm the single mothers.
The emotional and the economic burden on the shoulders of single moms results in their feeling alone and detaching themselves from their social circle. They will also have to take on the role of the father in the house and be a role model for her child on many issues. It will take time, money and power to deal with all these responsibilities.
In this article, I will mention the ways single mothers can deal with the problems they experience. Here are 8 tips for single mothers to cope with the problems.
1) Stay Emotionally Strong
Although the single parents feel relaxed and free right after the divorce, they start to feel stressed out after a while.
The single mothers are anxious mostly because although they prioritize the needs of their children and sacrifice themselves for them, their children still struggle with issues like addiction, incarceration, single parenting, school suspensions, and poor academic performance (Elliott S., Powell R., and Brenton J., 2015)
Also, taking the decisions alone all the time can distress the single mothers. For example, even when deciding on a new item she wants to buy for home, she has to decide on her own.
However, what needs to be done is to survive despite all the negativity. A single mother must be strong for both her own and her child’s health and well-being. In spite of the difficulties she faces, she must continue.
Also, the health and the happiness of the mother will also affect her child. If you are unhappy, your child will feel it and he/she will be affected adversely.
2) Get Support from Relatives
The data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC) shows that in the UK, children from single-parent families display higher levels of psychological problems than children from two-parent families (Dunn et al., 1998).
It is natural that single mothers feel emotionally alone. However, it gives them the power to know that there are people who support them in their environment and are always there to help them. In many cases getting their help can make single mothers feel emotionally relieved.
Knowing that their mothers and fathers are with them is a source of support for single mothers. All kinds of material and moral support for single mothers are very important to them.
If this support does not come from their parents, single mothers can look for it in other people. For example, close friends or neighbors would support single mothers.
For example, single mothers can get help from their relatives when deciding which hospital to take their child to.
3) Try to be Socially Active
Devoting themselves totally to their children after the divorce, single mothers usually forget that
The social environment prevents single mothers from constantly thinking about stressful events and makes them happy by spending precious time with friends.
According to West E. M., Miller G. L., and Moate R. M. (2016), social support has been identified as an essential aspect of single mothers’ sense of wellbeing, which can mitigate their increased susceptibility to stress, mental health concerns, and child behavioral issues
Furthermore, the social settings doesn’t have to be only about business or entertainment. For example, you can contact other single mothers so that you can communicate with people like you and share your problems.
You can find many Facebook pages on this subject. You can meet face to face with people you meet online and share your experiences. Remember that your happiness and calmness will affect your child positively.
4) Remember to Take Time for Yourself
Many single mothers forget to take care of themselves. We are all human and we need to allocate some time to stop and think.
Therefore, we may need to spend time devoted only to ourselves. For that, you can plan activities which can be both alone and with close
It is effectual for everyone but it is especially a very helpful action for single mothers, which should not be underestimated.
Morrissette (2008) reported that the main issues mothers face includes lack of energy and time, concerns over money, and ensuring that sufficient childcare and support is available for their children.
Also, finding a hobby and trying to improve yourself in that will make you happy. You can take a few hours a week to recover all your tiredness and feel
They can also be physical activities which keeps your body fit while providing you with an emotional relief. In this way, you can stay happier and healthier. You can choose from a long list of activities such as hiking and yoga to spend a few hours.
Sometimes we have to move away from everything and recharge ourselves. Listen to yourself and make a “My Day” to get rid of all the stress and to relax.
5) Take the Time for Your Child
The most affected person in divorce is usually children. They are the most vulnerable because they haven’t reached their emotional and mental maturity yet.
Most children even blame themselves for divorces. They may consider themselves responsible for the separation of their parents. For this reason, it may be necessary to explain the situation to the child in a positive way without hurting or breaking him/her and answer the questions that he/she may have.
Spending time with your child can be an opportunity for you both to feel better and to train your child more successfully. For example, r
He/she will feel the value you give while spending time with him/her. It is very important that your child feel the love you have for him/her.
Keep in mind that children feel all the emotions better than adults. When you are unhappy or sad, they can understand it immediately. Therefore, it will make him/her happy to be happy with you.
Don’t forget hugging him/her as it is the best medicine for humans.
6) Create a Specific Routine
According to West E. M., Miller L. G., and Moate R.M.(2016), single mothers encounter unique experiences and challenges while raising young children. One of the most difficult challenges for single mothers is to maintain domestic work. It is hard for single mothers to be able to keep up with every single duty and to bear a lot of responsibility.
For single mothers, the household chores such as sweeping, wiping and dishwashing combined with shopping and taking the child to school are both time-consuming and physically exhausting. It is also very difficult to do all of these things alone and at the same time to spare time to your child.
Therefore, putting your work into a routine can help you to do things more easily and to make you feel calmer.
For example, determining your meal times and sleeping times and doing it at the same hour of every day can clearly indicate what you expect from him/her. Planning everything will allow you to spend more time with him/her and become more active in life.
In addition, when you do everything as planned, you enter your bed calmly and free from stress. Doing everything that needs to be done will also give you happiness and peace of mind. In this way, your child will feel safe.
7) Take the Time to Prepare Easy Meals
The most important issue of single mothers in household chores can be cooking. It would be much more challenging especially for single mothers who do not know how to cook.
When it comes to working mothers it is even more difficult to prepare a meal. However, pre-prepared meals will save you from the trouble of cooking.
You can start with preparing your meals at the weekend or in the night before, which will be your savior. It is also very practical to throw these dishes into the freezer and heat them in the microwave when you are hungry.
As a result, you can gain both time and energy. Also
In addition, you can avoid unhealthy food by cooking beforehand. Many people eat fast food when they are tired. Instead of these unhealthy dishes, you can prepare delicious meals for both your child and yourself.
There are also many web pages with dozens of recipes for mothers who don’t know how to cook. It will be easy to prepare food by looking at these recipes.
8) Do Not Worry About the Future
Consider the positive aspects of being a single mother besides the negative ones. There will not always be the bad events in your future. Therefore, do not be afraid of the future. Be hopeful about the future.
You can put reasonable targets on yourself. For example, you can think about what you want to do in 5 years or what you want to do with your child. Your future will be as bright as that of everyone else. Being a single mother doesn’t change this fact.
You shouldn’t let anything block your achievements in your personal and professional life. Being aware of this and working in accord with this motto will give you greater happiness and greater success.
You can check the strengths-based research which can help to identify the ways in which singlemothers are resilient and successful and how they can build on the strengths they already have (Kjellstrand K. E. and Harper M., 2012)
Although being a single mother is a stressful task, you need to know you’re not alone. Furthermore, you need to know that there are many women like you and you don’t carry on this great duty alone. You can always get help from your family, relatives, friends, neighbors or social groups.
Just focus on what you want to do. Don’t limit your dreams to be a single mother. You can set new goals for yourself and your child. Remember, there’s nothing you can’t do as a woman.
Elliott, S., Powell, R., & Brenton, J. (2015). Being a Good Mom. Journal of Family Issues,36(3), 351-370. Doi:10.1177/0192513×13490279
Jadva, V., Badger, S., Morrissette, M., & Golombok, S. (2016). ‘Mom by choice, single by lives circumstance…’ Findings from a large-scale survey of the experiences of single mothers by choice. Human Fertility,12(4), 175-184. Doi:10.3109/14647270903373867
Kjellstrand, E. K., & Harper, M. (2012). Yes, She Can: An Examination of Resiliency Factors in Middle- and Upper-Income Single Mothers. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage,53(4), 311-327. Doi:10.1080/10502556.2012.671677
The Living Arrangements of Single Mothers with Dependent Children: An added perspective. (1993). The AMERICAN JOURNAL of ECONOMICS and SOCIOLOGY,17(5), 221. Doi:10.2307/2135089